T-Mobile to pay $13M rent at Vornado’s 1535 Broadway: sources

Retailer's payment includes leasing space on the building's giant LED sign, insiders say
By Adam Pincus | April 07, 2015 05:20PM

T-Mobile will pay about $13 million per year to take space and LED signage at Vornado Realty Trust’s redevelopment project at 1535 Broadway, in Times Square’s Bow Tie, according to several industry sources familiar with the deal.

The cellphone retailer signed a lease last month in which it will pay a starting rent of about $8 million a year, or about $2,000 per foot, to lease about 4,000 square feet at 1535 Broadway, the sources said. It will fork over another $5 million for additional LED signage above the store, located on the corner of Broadway and 46th Street.

The price per foot indicates that rents in Times Square remain among the highest in the city. This lease, however, comes in well below the average asking rent in the Bow Tie reported last fall by the Real Estate Board of New York, which was $2,317 per foot.

According to sources, each tenant gets signage above their store, as well as an option to lease space in a band above that, which T-Mobile did. However, that signage is on a lower band of what is now the city’s largest billboard, which debuted in November. The upper portion of the billboard is leased to Google.

T-Mobile would not confirm or deny if a lease had been signed, but said in a statement to The Real Deal: “We don’t have anything to share about the speculation you’re hearing, but we are deeply committed to NYC and our customers – and we’re always looking for fresh ways to engage with them.”

The cellphone carrier’s broker, Paul Berkman of JLL, did not respond to requests for comment, nor did Vornado.

Sherri White and Nicholas Howell of Vornado are marketing the space. A recent marketing email from their firm reveals that this is one of two spaces with signed leases among seven retail spots.

The real estate investment trust’s project is just south of Jeff Sutton’s 1551 Broadway, leased to American Eagle, which also has prominent digital signage.